I Didn’t Die Or Get Bored!!

Artist’s Inner Vision Tarot copyright © NoMonet Full Court Press (1999)

What a deliriously good but crazy couple of months it has been. Things with both the website and Tarot Esoterica hit an abrupt stop following my last update because a couple of very amazing synchronous things happened.

After all my convictions last September/November in -how- I was going to create and distribute tarot content went right out the window at the end of April.

I -will- be writing a book after all. At least one. The book will be about a modern Qabalistic system that uses a Gra-style Tree of Life diagram and throws the Golden Dawn-based astrological and Hebrew alphabet attributions right out the window.

Just about every mainstream tarot author and deck creator uses the Golden Dawn-based attributions, so this isn’t simply writing a book, it is also creating at least one tarot deck that embodies the ideas behind the book.

Why is Laurel being so Crazy?

The Gra-Style or Natural Array Tree of Life

As much as I’d love to blame it all a pure hypermanic bi-polar phase, it is so much more than that. I have spent a couple of months really delving into both historical and modern Jewish kabbalism, into the evolution of the Alef-Beit, into the evolution of astrology, into reconnecting with my personal self-development and psychoteric work with the tarot and came to an abrupt realization:

My life purpose isn’t to teach either of the Big Two existing esoteric tarot systems- the English/Golden Dawn tradition or the French/Martinist tradition.

My life purpose is to create something else, something that somehow does two seemingly contradictory things at the same time.

I’m now assembling a less mystical more humanistic Qabalistic that honors Jewish Kabbalah without being appropriative. Included into this Great Work is stepping back modern esotericism derived from Hermeticism and Astrology to their Hellenistic roots and then applying all spiritual alchemy and archetypal psychology into a Tree of Life framework that manages to cover all of these basis.

There will be more frequent updates starting in June. Tarot Esoterica will be returning some time in the foreseeable future, probably January 2021. 🙂

Court Cards, MBTI Personality Types, Uncategorized

Linda Gail Walters & Realms of Personality

Jung’s theory of psychological or personality types attempts to categorize people in terms of their primary mode of psychological functioning. I like the definition of psychological functioning being a person’s ability to make and achieve goals and it covers individual mental/emotional wellness, social skills, beliefs and behavior. There are sixteen personality types created by the MBTI questionnaire which I think can be very aptly applied to the sixteen court cards. The ~specific conventional names~ for these 16 personality archetypes don’t necessarily suit my tastes, especially for every deck I work with. But taking the general traits applied to each personality archetype and applying them to the Court Cards with whatever relateable archetype name best suits seems to be an incredibly powerful psychoteric tool.

Several different tarot authors including Mary K. Greer and Janet Riley have created systems that associate the 16 MBTI Personality types with the 16 Court cards.  Each authors system does it a little differently.  The system I use for matching was created by Linda Gail Walters who tragically died before her book Realms of Personality: The Jungian Personalities of the Tarot Courts was complete enough to be published.  I work off a copy of an article she had published on her website circa 2012.  Her website is down but it and this article are still available via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. I have merely taken Linda’s work and adopted it into my own, finding her associations more compatible with how I do them than the work of others such as Mary K. Greer and Janet Riley who have published their own systems for matching the Court Cards and the MBTI Personality Archetypes.

I get the naming conventions for the MBTI Personality Archetypes used below from 16Personalities.com with one exception; I call ISTJ by The Analyst, not The Logistician.

Court NameMBTIArchetypeElemental Title
King of WandsENTJCommanderFire of Fire
King of CupsENFJProtagonistFire of Water
King of Swords ESTJExecutiveFire of Air
King of PentaclesESFJConsulFire of Earth
Queen of Wands INTJArchitectWater of Fire
Queen of CupsINFJAdvocateWater of Water
Queen of SwordsISTJAnalystWater of Air
Queen of PentaclesISFJDefenderWater of Earth
Knight of WandsENTPDebaterAir of Fire
Knight of CupsENFPCampaignerAir of Water
Knight of SwordsESTPEntrepeneurAir of Air
Knight of PentaclesESFPEntertainerAir of Earth
Page of WandsINTPLogicianEarth of Fire
Page of CupsINFPMediatorEarth of Water
Page of SwordsISTPVirtuosoEarth of Air
Page of PentaclesISFPAdventurerEarth of Earth
Mind Magick, Uncategorized, US Politics

Know Your Enemy But Also Know Yourself

It has been a sad day for me. I got the news that Storm Constantine died yesterday after suffering from a long illness. She was someone I liked very much and who very much Found Herself at a -much- younger age than I did. Even if I was ambivalent about the Wraethu books in general, I loved how they explored sexuality and gender. I thought of Storm as part of my own generation (she’s a bit older than I realized) and certainly part of my “tribe”.

This is why I’m really glad that today’s random article from Medium was the 3 days old “The Neuroscience of Hate” by Dana G. Smith. It brushes on why I would consider someone I’d fallen out of touch with and even painfully forgotten about over the chaos of what was 2018-2020+ for me still part of my tribe.

Storm Constantine published her first novel when I was 18; by the time Wraethu was gathering a cult following among the goth & LGBT communities (there were fewer letters in our queer alphabet soup back then), I was deeply involved in the Puget Sound goth & LGBT communities. In my own fictional m/m writing, one of my protagonists had the first name Storm. The other had the surname Constantine. This was merely synchronicity but it made my brain focus sharper on any conversation or article or bookstand that had her name on it. My brain claimed those names and it claimed her and Wraethu was not exactly ~right~ for me, but I sure as hell was going to defend it against people detracting on her explorations into alternative sexualities and defend Storm and all she represented as an author from conservative sensibilities.

The same way Joe Biden was someone I didn’t identify as part of “mine” during his time as Vice President but after everything he’s endured from the ex-Potus and the Alt-Right, after he’s shown himself to be “presidential” in how my mind translates that word, in everything from his relationship with Dr. Jill Biden and his sons (living and dead) to his struggles with a stutter to his rescue dog Major to him being a biker, not a golfer… I have come to more than respecting my new-POTUS. I ~love~ him. Because he makes me think of West Wing the tv show. What I see when I look and hear him (which is perception-based and subjective) is a career politician with some checkered events in his past that I. as his supporter can brush off as “he’s grown up since then. He’s evolved.”

And I hope that is true. I will certainly be judging him by his actions and maybe that is the difference between someone with my character traits and someone in MAGA/QAnon. I might be ignorant of what someone has actually done or not done and I might believe things about their actions that aren’t true. But when I see any human being speak in the way that I’ve witnessed people like Donald Trump, Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Sen Josh Hawley, I don’t care what political party they belong to.

Being an actual Democratic Socialist and happy to claim the title of Antifa since I’m Anti-Fascism, I get annoyed at Alt-Right mislabeling anyone in the Democratic party as those things. I also get annoyed at people lumping everyone loyal to the GOP as MAGA/QAnon. Most people in my country are not DemSoc/Antifa — or MAGA/QAnon. They’re in the long, wide spectrum between.

My side has not attempted to kidnap and do Very Bad Things to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last October or killed two police officers and threatened the lives of countless people in the Capitol one week ago. My side believes that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity. The other side believes that black people being treated as people as important as them is incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity. The other side… embraces the kind of hate-based totalitarian ideology that IS terribly, shockingly, like what I understand of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Reading Smith’s article was hard. It didn’t make me more angry at MAGA/QAnon than I already am. The only people who make me angrier at MAGA/QAnon on any given day than I am when I start reading the news or scrolling Twitter is a member of that ideology opening their mouth and attempting to communicate. I’m sure that what I have to say has the same effect on them.

But if hate can and should be defined as “Hate is a mixing of both intense dislike with moral contempt and disgust…” do I hate them?

… I don’t want to. Because I brand myself as anti-Hate. I have an extreme dislike for their behavior, their attitude, and what I hear them say. And I do get completely disgusted by fervently self-proclaimed Christians who have absolutely no adherence to the social conventions that Jesus in those four gospels espoused in just about everything he had to say.. Those conventions, you see, were about giving away your excess stuff and putting taking care of the less fortunate as a priority, healing the sick, protecting marginalized people from angry mobs, lobbying against corruption in Church and State… you know, all that wacky humanitarian stuff.


Trump is a qlipothic-aspected psychoteric magician. Qlipothic is magic for malicious and selfish purposes and calling it black magic is bad form. Its been too long and rough a day to talk about the Qlipoth tonight. Just know that they are a kabbalistic concept to explain why there is evil.

Smith wrote, “Finally, hearing hate speech, like the kind spouted by President Donald Trump, can increase prejudice toward an out-group and even prime the brain for violent actions.” She goes on to quote Arizona State University psychologist Arthur Glenberg  who wrote in an article for The Conversation “Words themselves are enough to trigger simulations in motor, perceptual and emotional neural systems. Your brain creates a sense of being there: The motor system is primed for action and the emotional system motivates those actions.”

It is also to late to get into the metaphysics of language but I wrote some stuff for Tarot Esoterica episode 4 that I am going to shamelessly steal before the exhaustion wins.

Air is Yangyin and in alchemy, it is symbolized as an upright triangle with a line through the tip and given the traits of Hot and Wet.   In astrology and tarot, air is associated with communication, hierarchies, information, and intellect. In my other projects, I talk a lot about psychoterica, mental alchemy and mind magic.  Mystical, spiritual magic with a k comes from a place of fire.  Psychoteric magic with a k comes from a place of air.  They are just different sets of blocks in an occultist’s toy box just like there are these different suits of cards in a tarot deck. 

For me, swords are the suit that expresses how information is transferred and when information transfer glitches and suddenly there’s a conflict either between people or within a single person’s mind.  This would be a good place to talk about the Law of Mentalism but for today, I’m just going to mention it and encourage you to write it down and do some personal research.  

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.


Hello 2021!

The purpose of this website is to share my love and knowledge of tarot, especially esoteric tarot, with the world. It is also to contribute to making a better world in the small ways that I can. I am blessed to have gotten through 2020 with a modest fixed income, food and housing security, a loving and emotionally healthy life partner and excellent friends all intact. These are not things I take for granted. So many people have lost so much.

I hope you find my tarot content interesting and useful. I have all kinds of plans for more that will be published here for free ad-free access throughout 2021 if the Wheel of Fortune turns favorably for me.

Donations made in 2021 will go to helping people who are not as lucky as me, friends (and others who reach out) who are struggling financially as well as supporting two local LGBTQIA+ charities and a local food bank.

“You and I possess within ourselves at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the power to transform the quality of our lives.” – Werner Erhard

The Universal Waite (UW) Tarot Deck

The history of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot is fascinating. A. E. Waite and Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith began to create a tarot deck together in 1909 which was completed in a mere six months. This was during an era of high interpersonal drama for the Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. Waite, who was being increasingly drawn towards Christian mysticism wanted to make a deck dramatically different than what the order had been using at the time.

I have read that Waite and Smith created a Major Arcana based on the works of Eliphas Levi and Paul Christian combined with Grail mysticism and the Golden Dawn astrological attributions. Then the minor Arcana images were inspired by an eclectic mix of Etteilla’s work, the Sola Busca deck in the British Museum, and Smith’s brilliant imagination.

For divinatory meanings Waite draw heavily on Etteilla but then presented an intentionally oblique and misleading explanation of the cards in The Pictorial Key to Tarot. I am pretty sure he is also the author of another baffling and less-then-helpful tarot book of that period called A Manual of Cartomancy, Fortune-Telling and Occult Divination under the pseudonym Grand Orient. These books are great for getting insight into AE’s personal truths; I don’t recommend them for much else.

The Rider-Waite deck, as it came to be known, was published in 1909 by Rider Company in England then pirated by American publisher DeLaurence in 1916.

Within a couple of decades, however, the deck (and tarot in general) fell into obscurity. Then Stuart Kaplan obtained the publishing rights for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck for US Games Systems in the early 1970s. The decks that US Games Systems began to publish and Kaplan’s own book, Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling (1977) helped tarot cards become widely popular once more. The RWS decks are now the most widely recognized and popular tarot decks in the world. The original Pamela Colman Smith card images are in the public domain and found on Wikipedia. Images from the UW deck are not. They are copyright protected by US Games, Inc.

© US Games Systems, Inc

UW Deck Card By Card

Because RWS based decks have so many wonderful websites already devoted to them, I will not be creating my own content specifically for UW card meanings. Instead, if you click on the name of individual cards it will take you to the meanings at one of my very favorite established websites, Biddytarot.com, in a new tab. This is a site I will be directing student tarot readers to use as a reference if they need it while I’m streaming “Free Tarot Lessons” on Twitch.

UW Major Arcana

0The FoolMutable Air (Modality)Alef א
IThe MagicianMercuryBet ב
IIThe High PriestessMoonGimel ג
IIIThe EmpressVenusDalet ד
IVThe EmperorAries (Cardinal Fire)He ה
VThe HierophantTaurus (Fixed Earth)Vau ו
VIThe LoversGemini (Mutable Air)Zayin ז
VIIThe ChariotCancer (Cardinal Water)Chet ח
VIIIStrengthLeo (Fixed Fire)Tet ט
IXThe HermitVirgo (Mutable Earth)Yod י
XThe Wheel of FortuneJupiter Kaf כ ך
XIJusticeLibra (Cardinal Air)Lamed ל
XIIThe Hanged ManFixed Water (Modality)Mem ם מ
XIIIDeathScorpio (Fixed Water)Nun ן נ
XIVTemperanceSagittarius (Mutable Fire)Samekh ס
XVThe DevilCapricorn (Cardinal Earth)Ayin ע
XVIThe TowerMarsPeh ף פ
XVIIThe StarAquarius (Fixed Air)Tzaddi ץ צ
XVIIIThe MoonPisces (Mutable Water)Qof ק
XIXThe SunSunResh ר
XXJudgementCardinal Fire (Modality)Shin ש
XXIThe WorldEarth & Saturn Tav ת

UW Minor Arcana Pips

NameSefiraAstrological Decan“Lord of”
Ace of WandsKether
Two of WandsChokmahMars in AriesDominion
Three of WandsBinahSun in AriesEstablished Strength
Four of WandsChesedVenus in AriesPerfected Work
Five of WandsGeburahSaturn in LeoStrife
Six of WandsTiparethJupiter in LeoVictory
Seven of WandsNetzachMars in LeoValour
Eight of WandsHodMercury in SagittariusSwiftness
Nine of WandsYesodMoon in SagittariusGreat Strength
Ten of WandsMalkuthSaturn in SagittariusOppression
Ace of CupsKether
Two of CupsChokmahVenus in CancerLove
Three of CupsBinahMercury in CancerAbundance
Four of CupsChesedMoon in CancerBlended Pleasure
Five of CupsGeburahMars in ScorpioLoss in Pleasure
Six of CupsTiparethSun in ScorpioPleasure
Seven of CupsNetzachVenus in ScorpioIllusionary Success
Eight of CupsHodSaturn in PiscesAbandoned Success
Nine of CupsYesodJupiter in PiscesMaterial Happiness
Ten of CupsMalkuthMars in PiscesPerfected Success
Ace of SwordsKether
Two of SwordsChokmahMoon in LibraPeace restored
Three of SwordsBinahSaturn in LibraSorrow
Four of SwordsChesedJupiter in LibraRest from Strife
Five of SwordsGeburahVenus in AquariusDefeat
Six of SwordsTiparethMercury in AquariusEarned Success
Seven of SwordsNetzachMoon in AquariusUnstable Effort
Eight of SwordsHodJupiter in GeminiShortened Force
Nine of SwordsYesodMars in GeminiDespair and Cruelty
Ten of SwordsMalkuthSun in GeminiRuin
Ace of PentaclesKether
Two of PentaclesChokmahJupiter in CapricornHarmonious Change
Three of PentaclesBinahMars in CapricornMaterial Works
Four of PentaclesChesedSun in CapricornEarthly Power
Five of PentaclesGeburahMercury in TaurusMaterial Trouble
Six of PentaclesTiparethMoon in TaurusMaterial Success
Seven of PentaclesNetzachSaturn in TaurusSuccess Unfulfilled
Eight of PentaclesHodSun in VirgoPrudence
Nine of PentaclesYesodVenus in VirgoMaterial Gain
Ten of PentaclesMalkuthMercury in VirgoWealth

The ten sefirot (plural of sephira) are part of the Tree of Life which is at the heart of Qabalistic Tarot. Tarot decks can still be esoteric without being Qabalistic; the Order of the Golden Dawn birthed conventional Qabalistic tarot, however. The RWS, Thoth, B.O.T.A, and Haindl decks most definitely are Qabalistic tarot and there are dozens of others.

Decans are three subdivisions within each of the twelve zodiacal signs. I don’t know at this time if the author(s) of Book T were the first to make attributions of them to the minor trumps or it was borrowed from someone else, possibly in a modified form. That’s a question I intend to explore though when time allows. My assumption is that these titles relate directly to one or more astrological texts available at the time.

UW Court Cards

King of WandsFire of FireCancer-LeoENTJCommander
Queen of WandsWater of FirePisces-AriesINTJArchitect
Knight of WandsAir of FireScorpio-SagittariusENTPDebater
Page of WandsEarth of FireINTPLogician
King of CupsFire of WaterLibra-ScorpioENFJProtagonist
Queen of CupsWater of WaterGemini-CancerINFJAdvocate
Knight of CupsAir of WaterAquarius-PiscesENFPCampaigner
Page of CupsEarth of WaterINFPMediator
King of SwordsFire of AirCapricorn-AquariusESTJExecutive
Queen of SwordsWater of AirVirgo-LibraISTJLogistician
Knight of SwordsAir of AirTaurus-GeminiESTPEntrepreneur
Page of SwordsEarth of AirISTPVirtuoso
King of PentaclesFire of EarthAries-TaurusESFJConsul
Queen of PentaclesWater of EarthSagittarius-CapricornISFJDefender
Knight of PentaclesAir of EarthLeo-VirgoESFPEntertainer
Page of PentaclesEarth of EarthISFPAdventurer
The zodiacal rulership column associates the last two decans of the first sign
+ first decan of the sequential sign to the the Kings, Queens, and Knights.

These are the most conventional elemental and astrological associations made for the RWS court cards.

There’s a lot of variance in how the court cards associate with the MBTI personality types. I have provided the associations I first learned from articles written by Linda Gail Waters. TarotX uses them. The MBTI archetype names are fairly conventual and found on 16personalities.com as an example.